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It's Icy Sidewalk Season: Use These Four Tips to Stay Upright

Steve Wagner

Cold Weather Brings Slip and Fall Accidents to Indiana

Slip and fall accidents can occur anytime, and in any environment, but winter temperatures can quickly create slick surfaces that wreak havoc on surfaces like sidewalks, walkways and doorsteps. In the United States, slips and falls are one of the top causes of unintentional injury, sending millions of Americans to emergency rooms every year. Business and residential owners, as well as state and local municipality leaders, have a responsibility to prevent and clear snow and ice from walkways. Negligence from managing slick pathways can lead to major injuries.

Watch Your Step

You can’t avoid every slippery surface, but you can try your best by doing simple things like allowing more time to walk somewhere and watch where you are walking. Find the safest route and place your full attention on it. That means refrain from being distracted by your cell phone. When you are navigating your way on icy walkways be sure to:

  1. Avoid carrying small children, heavy loads, and items that may block your view.
  2. Bend your knees a bit and take shorter steps.
  3. Do not ever run or exercise on ice.
  4. Wear shoes or boots with good traction and treads.

If you find yourself beginning to slip, try your best to not put all the pressure on your hands or wrists to break your fall. Wrist fractures are the most common injury seen by medical professionals during winter months. Here are a few other common injuries caused by icy conditions:

  • Back, neck and shoulder injuries
  • Concussions or other brain injuries
  • Dislocations of joints
  • Muscle strains
  • Severe cuts and bruises
  • Twisted or broken ankles
  • Wrist and hand fractures

Slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of brain injury. The warning signs for a brain injury can vary from person to person and are dependent upon the severity. Here are distinct symptoms to look for:

  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty thinking or speaking
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Lack of coordination
  • Loss of consciousness for any amount of time
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings
  • Nausea
  • Slurred speech

Understanding the signs and symptoms of a brain injury can help you get better more quickly. Seek medical support if you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms after a fall.

Clear Your Paths

Winter slip and fall accidents caused by ice are particularly common on residential and commercial properties. In several Indiana communities, city ordinances require homeowners and businesses to clear the sidewalks in front of and adjacent to their properties. If you do see an unsafe, icy condition let the responsible party know immediately to prevent others from falling and injuring themselves. If you are the person responsible for the prevention and removal of ice on a property, there are a number of things that you can do to stop ice from forming, or to get it to disappear quickly. Continue to manage icy areas to prevent falls and injuries that could ultimately cause damage to others.

Stephen Wagner and Jason Reese can handle your premises liability or slip and fall accident claim with years of experience and proven results. Call the law firm of Wagner Reese today (888) 204-8440 for your FREE consultation!

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